What to do when you cannot find data for your MSc Dissertation! Watch

JamesWatt1993
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Hi guys!

I need to complete a 15000 words dissertation by the end of the summer!

I want to look at the demand for put options around financial crises and see it can have any predictive power.

However, I started working on my dissertation, there is a lot of literature (for stock markets. I was planning to do on bond markets, but I had to switch as there aren't many options on bond indices or bond market crises), but the data is either not available or it costs a lot to download (like between $900 - $2000).

However, without the data I cannot complete the study as it needs to be an empirical study.

Therefore I need your advice!

Should I:
1. Change the topic completely? (I have not researched anything else so scrapping this topic means starting from -1 because I need to go again through the research proposal process etc. and find a topic worthy of being studied). Also, are students penalized for changing their topic entirely?

2. Fake the data (I do not even know how to do it because I want to look at the demand pressure on put option prices which means I need to have people to actually buy the options :s ... I could use the BS formula to calculate the price each day and just add an error term for put options - like a randomly generated number)

3. I could also look at VIX and compare it to the stock market around financial crises ... to stay somehow in the same area ... but this is very far from what I wanted to do and it might have been done already

Any other suggestions?

Thanks!
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Klix88
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Firstly, these are the sorts of question your supervisor should be advising on. You shouldn't make any substantial change to your diss topic without discussing it with them first and getting their agreement. There may be uni funds available to pay for the data accesses you need.

(Original post by JamesWatt1993)
1. Change the topic completely? (I have not researched anything else so scrapping this topic means starting from -1 because I need to go again through the research proposal process etc. and find a topic worthy of being studied). Also, are students penalized for changing their topic entirely?
Not a great idea at this stage, but needs must. See what your supervisor says. As long as they agree and are expecting it, changing topics shouldn't carry a penalty if done correctly.

2. Fake the data (I do not even know how to do it because I want to look at the demand pressure on put option prices which means I need to have people to actually buy the options :s ... I could use the BS formula to calculate the price each day and just add an error term for put options - like a randomly generated number)
You need to demonstrate the source of your data or it will be useless for research and you'll fail. Faking it will be instantly detectable.

3. I could also look at VIX and compare it to the stock market around financial crises ... to stay somehow in the same area ... but this is very far from what I wanted to do and it might have been done already
Your supervisor will be able to tell you whether this is a valid approach.

Any other suggestions?
If you have already tried to engage your supervisor and failed, escalate this lack of support to your Programme Leader. Go via your Student Union if necessary.
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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Hi, just a couple of general points that spring to mind (my subjects are different: MSc Clinical Pharmacology and MSc Computer Science):-

Firstly, assuming there actually exists sufficient data on your topic(s) in the form of books, research papers and online articles, your uni must subscribe to hundreds of journals, especially in the fields related to the courses that the uni offers (are you doing MSc in Economics or Finance etc. or more specific to stock trading?).

Secondly, some trading agents that act as non-advisory intermediaries for e.g. CFDs (Contracts For Difference) have a lot of data on their websites as well as minute by minute updates on general financial news as well as news specific to e.g. FTSE 100 companies, which is powerfully searchable. One I use is called IG Markets (ig.com) where you can even open an account for CFDs with a £5 deposit (to download actual live prices you have to pay a nominal fee of a few pounds a year OR do a trade every month or something [15 minute prices are FOC] and there is the option to use powerful charting). I am sure there are similar companies acting as media for puts, options or binaries.

M
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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JamesWatt1993


I have posted some info for you above!
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JamesWatt1993
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(Original post by macpatelgh)
Hi, just a couple of general points that spring to mind (my subjects are different: MSc Clinical Pharmacology and MSc Computer Science):-

Firstly, assuming there actually exists sufficient data on your topic(s) in the form of books, research papers and online articles, your uni must subscribe to hundreds of journals, especially in the fields related to the courses that the uni offers (are you doing MSc in Economics or Finance etc. or more specific to stock trading?).

Secondly, some trading agents that act as non-advisory intermediaries for e.g. CFDs (Contracts For Difference) have a lot of data on their websites as well as minute by minute updates on general financial news as well as news specific to e.g. FTSE 100 companies, which is powerfully searchable. One I use is called IG Markets (ig.com) where you can even open an account for CFDs with a £5 deposit (to download actual live prices you have to pay a nominal fee of a few pounds a year OR do a trade every month or something [15 minute prices are FOC] and there is the option to use powerful charting). I am sure there are similar companies acting as media for puts, options or binaries.

M
Thank you very much for your reply! I contacted my supervisor and discussed the issue with him. He agreed to let me change my topic. I do not know if he will actually approve my attempt to change the topic completely. I will post an update here. Regarding your recommendations, the brokerage firms you've recommended does not store historical information about options only information on alive contracts. I was much more interested on historical data and I needed quite detailed information.
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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Thank you for the feedback - and for the rep.

Best of luck with your research!
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